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Extracurricular Activities


KCJS group trips

Each semester, the entire KCJS group takes a trip with at least one overnight stay. Past destinations have included Okayama, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Shikoku.

Here are a few comments from students enrolled during the 2011-12 year about their experiences:

“Okayama and Ise trips were both really fun and two of the best experiences of the year.”

“The homestay in Okayama is still a highlight of my time here.”

“They [the trips] were enjoyable, particularly the trip to Okayama. I recommend more trips that involve homestays in the future, as it was a really interesting experience.”

“I really enjoyed the Ise trip, and it was timed perfectly to give a relaxing getaway during a stressful time.”

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Guest lectures

KCJS organizes special lectures and on-site demonstrations by guest speakers in various fields. Recent guests have included Japan Times journalist Erich Johnston, environmental activist Aileen Miono Smith, and modern dance choreographer Yasuko Yokoshi.

In addition, guest lectures that are scheduled as part of our afternoon subject courses are open to students who are not enrolled in those classes, so you will have multiple opportunities to learn about a wide variety of subjects, beyond the classes you take in a particular semester. Our morning Japanese courses also invite guest lectures who can speak about the topics related to the course materials. Typically these lectures are given in Japanese, to deepen your disciplinary-specific skills in the language. Recent speakers have included Haruhisa Kawamura (Noh performer), Ichiro Kichisaka (Noh instrumentalist) etc.

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Alumni panels

At least once a year, KCJS also hosts an alumni panel so you can learn about how former students have put their Japanese language and cultural skills to work in professional and academic positions. KCJS alumni often participate in the JET program, and many have taken on positions of leadership in Japanese, American, and various international companies, NGOs, and law firms. Many are prominent members of the arts community in Japan and/or the United States. Others have pursued advanced degrees in various academic fields and are now professors or researchers at colleges and universities.

In the alumni panel discussions, you will hear firsthand about the rewards and challenges your senpai (先輩) have faced in pursuing their career and/or academic goals, and you will have a chance to ask questions over a leisurely lunch following their presentations.

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Student-centered KCJS activities

Each semester, you will be invited to participate in events designed to help you make friends with your KCJS classmates as well as Japanese peers from Doshisha and Kyoto University. In the 2017 Spring semester, KCJS hosted such events as Takoyaki party, Sushi making and Shodo lesson with Doshisha students.


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Doshisha and Kyoto University classmates

In most of your afternoon classes, you are likely to have 2-4 classmates who are native Japanese speakers enrolled at Doshisha and/or Kyoto University. These students have signed up to take a KCJS class because they are eager to interact with students from the United States and exchange points of view. Many have already spent time abroad, or plan to do so after having taken a class at KCJS.

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Japanese language partners

As a KCJS student, you will have the opportunity to be paired with a Japanese language partner for the entire semester or year in order to further strengthen your language skills and extend your social network here in Kyoto.

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International student exchange groups

Many KCJS students also join international groups such as the Doshisha Exchange Student Association (DESA), Cosmopolitan (another exchange circle at DU), or the Kyoto University International Exchange Society (KIXS).

We urge you to make the most out of these opportunities to speak and meet with your fellow Japanese students. These exchanges can make a significant difference in the quality of your daily life here in Kyoto, as attested by former KCJS students:

“I became very close with two Kyodai auditors and my language partner. I personally made the effort to engage them and meet them outside of class/language exchange. The more partners you have the better, because you can meet their friends!”

“People will say ‘branch out.’ More specifically: Find activities that you like that meet often (more than once a week) and make relationships in these activities and … outside of the activities as well. Invite people to lunch, dinner, sightseeing, things you like to do, studying, etc., otherwise you will just see people at the occasional event/nomikai and it will feel meaningless (a little bit exaggerated but mostly true). Don’t try too hard to fit in. Be who you are and seek out the things that you enjoy. Do not be afraid. REFLECT ON YOUR DAILY EXPERIENCE AND GOALS and do something about it. SPEAK JAPANESE!”

Please see our recent KCJS newsletters for more information about extracurricular activities.

・2011-2012 ( Fall  Spring )
・2012-2013 ( Fall  Spring )
・2013-2014 ( Fall  Spring )
・2014-2015 ( Fall  Spring )
・2015-2016 ( Fall  Spring )
・2016-2017 ( Fall  Spring )

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KCJS Summer Programs


Office of Global Programs

606 Kent Hall
Columbia University
1140 Amsterdam, Mail Code 3948
New York, NY 10027 USA
Tel: 212-854-2559
Fax: 212-854-5164
Email: ogp@columbia.edu

Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies 京都アメリカ大学コンソーシアム

Doshisha University, 2F Fusokan
Karasuma Higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori
Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8580 JAPAN

同志社大学 扶桑館2F

Tel: 075-251-4995
Tel: (+81-75-251-4995)
Fax: 075-229-6300
Fax: (+81-75-229-6300)
Email: fs2244@columbia.edu